A contractor in Townsville has received a hefty fine for conducting unlicensed building work in 2012. According to reports the man was apparently the head of 2 companies, both of which were conducting unlicensed building work which led to 8 charges and a fine of $30,000.
The man was apparently charged for failure to pay the workplace insurance scheme and conducting unlicensed work, the following excerpt from a post on Abc.net.au explains:
A former Townsville builder has been fined $30,000 for unlicensed building work in 2012.
Logan Braidwood was the head of two Townsville-based companies, Build N Kits and Payless Garages.
He has been convicted of eight charges relating to unlicensed building work and failing to pay the appropriate insurance premium for residential construction work between March and August in 2012.
Braidwood was convicted in the Maroochydore Magistrates Court under the provisions of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act.
Although these are serious charges which resulted in a large fine for the builder involved, other builders and contractors in the construction industry should be aware of the fines they too face particularly relating to Occupational Health and Safety.
The first and arguably the most important consideration is ensuring that every worker on a building site is accredited to be there. In Australia this involves completing the White Card course and obtaining a White Card.
According to national health and safety laws any worker participating in construction in Oz must first successfully complete general construction induction training, commonly referred to as White Card training. This training must be completed before any worker even sets foot onto a construction site in order to not only ensure they are compliant with national regulation but also to ensure that they aren’t placing themselves and others on site at risk by their actions on site.
Construction sites are busy places and a number of tradespeople operate simultaneously often within a confined space, this can lead to workers being exposed to hazards not directly related to their work. In fact workers are faced with a number of hazards every day and each work site is different presenting its own set of hazards. It is therefore compulsory that every person working on a construction site whether they undertake renovation work, plumbing, carpentry, bricklaying, concreting, roofing or simply just deliver construction materials to the site must complete OHS training relating to construction work – The White Card.
This reform is the latest initiative of a larger program to harmonise occupational health and safety systems between states and territories, and is in addition to mutual recognition of the construction induction cards obtained in other states and territories. In other words once the training has been completed in one state and a White Card has been issued, workers can now work across borders and in any state they wish because The White Card is nationally valid and recognised.
Employers who fail to ensure their workers are properly trained, supervised and provided with a safe system of work and safe work environment also risk facing costly and possibly crippling fines as the Townsville contractor did.